All The Ways ‘The Lakes’ Is Taylor Swift's Love Letter to Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift's latest Folklore bonus track just dropped—and guys, "The Lakes" is pretty much a melancholy love letter to Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend of three years. Though “The Lakes” is not yet available on streaming services, the lyrics have been posted to Genius, and I am diving in (pun definitely intended.)

In the chorus of the track, Swift writes, “Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die.” According to the lyric analyzer, this is supposedly in reference to the Lake District, one of the most romantic spots in all of the U.K. If you're thinking, “we get it, Joe Alwyn is British,” there's more. Let's talk about the bridge. 

I want auroras and sad prose
I want to watch wisteria grow right over my bare feet
'Cause I haven't moved in years
And I want you right here
A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground
With no one around to tweet it

As private as the pair have kept their relationship, the lyric “with no one around to tweet it,” is pretty much a no brainer. However, despite their low-key nature, the pop star has been outspoken about how their love has affected her throughout tougher “eras” of her life—as Swift fans often describe her albums. 

"I also was falling in love with someone who had a really wonderfully normal, balanced, grounded life. And we decided together that we wanted our relationship to be private," she revealed in the Miss Americana documentary in 2019, recalling the backlash after Kim Kardashian released a taped conversation between Swift and Kanye West. "Even though it was really horrible, I was happy. but I wasn't happy in the way I was trained to be happy. It was happiness without anyone else's input. It's, just, we were happy."

If you think about it, Taylor Swift's relationship with Alwyn could very well be the red rose that grew out of ice frozen ground. That argument becomes even more compelling when you compare the lyric to another Swift song thought to be about the British actor. “All my flowers grew back as thorns, windows boarded up after the storm, he built a fire just to keep me warm,” Swift wrote in the 2017 song “Call It What You Want.”

If this theory is true, Swift refers to Alwyn as her “muse” and her “beloved” multiple times in “The Lakes,” which is super sweet. It's hardly a stretch—some fans are even under the impression that Alwyn co-wrote two of the songs off Folklore.

However, despite the loving—if macabre—nature of most of the lyrics, Swift's new song does have some bite. It seems Swift took a big swipe at Scooter Braun, the music exec she accused of purchasing her music catalog (up to Lover) without her approval in 2019. 

“I've come too far to watch some namedropping sleaze tell me what are my words worth,” Swift writes in the second verse. I guess it's true what they say, every rose definitely has its thorns. 

You can check out every lyric to “The Lakes,” below:

Is it romantic how all of my elegies eulogize me?
I'm not cut out for all these cynical clones
These hunters with cell phones

Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die
I don't belong and, my beloved, neither do you
Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry
I'm setting off, but not without my muse

What should be over burrowed under my skin
In heart-stopping waves of hurt
I've come too far to watch some namedropping sleaze
Tell me what are my words worth

Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die
I don't belong and, my beloved, neither do you
Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry
I'm setting off, but not without my muse

I want auroras and sad prose
I want to watch wisteria grow right over my bare feet
'Cause I haven't moved in years
And I want you right here
A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground
With no one around to tweet it
While I bathe in cliffside pools
With my calamitous love and insurmountable grief

Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die
I don't belong and, my beloved, neither do you
Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry
I'm setting off, but not without my muse

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